First of all, what are ESAs and what’s the big deal about them?
See: Education Savings Accounts
Secondly, see what is wrong with the idea:
See: Open Season | The Weekly Standard
Waldron Mercy has gotten more than $270,000 in the last two years from the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program, and that 70 students have attended since 2005 under a similar state program, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit. “So they’ve received a good bit of money from the State of Pennsylvania,” Leach noted ominously. The Inquirer concluded, “[Leach] said that state money might override the religious exemption for the township ordinance.”
Any religious organization that requires a government license to operate—such as an adoption agency or hospital—may find its existence in jeopardy. (Catholic Charities)
Any religious charity that receives government money in the form of grants is now at risk of having those funds withdrawn. (World Vision)
Religious schools face three levels of exposure. They could be denied accreditation, which would threaten their long-term sustainability (why should the government accredit an institution that practices discrimination?). They could be denied government funding—either directly, in grants made to the school, or indirectly, in the form of government grants to students (such as Pell grants), which could be disallowed for use at schools that fail to recognize the state-mandated view of same-sex marriage. And, finally, they could lose their tax-exempt status.
A loss of tax exemption means both higher costs, as the organization must pay property taxes, and a drain on funds, since donations are no longer tax-deductible for donors. Such a loss increases the tax burden on the institution itself and on the individuals who support it.
There are 29,000 religiously affiliated pre-, primary-, and secondary-schools in America. There are 1,700 religiously affiliated colleges.
assaults on religious freedom can come from legislative bodies, the courts, or even faceless government agency bureaucrats. And there are more subtle threats, too. Last week National Review’s David French reported that, cognizant of coming lawsuits, at least one large insurance company, Southern Mutual Church Insurance, had sent a memo to client churches informing them that their liability coverage would not apply to any lawsuits resulting from same-sex marriage claims.
COMMENT / ANALYSIS
When the bill to establish Educational Savings Accounts was heard in the 78th session of the Nevada Legislature, I submitted testimony and sent e-mails warning of this threat, that CONTROL follows the MONEY, as it always had and always will. Two examples come to mind. The US Office of Education decreed in 1965 that all schools must have cafeterias (1965) and in 2009/2011 the US Department of Education decreed that all States must adopt Common Core, or lose the federal funds that they have become so vitally dependent upon. The feds and other statist control freaks have long sought ways to get their hooks into and destroy private and religious schools, and as always they have managed to create yet another means, this time the ESA, as the next way to use our most well-intentioned impulses as weapons against us.
In that regard, let me remind you that of all the colleges in the US, there are only 2 or 3 (Hillsdale College in Michigan and Grove City College in Pennsylvania; I forget who the third one is) that do not accept any state or federal funds in any form, most specifically not as scholarships or loans or loan guarantees to their students. THEY have long known what we still have to learn — at the expense of our children stuck in schools with unisex bathrooms and Common Core.
My mother always told me, wise men learn from the mistakes of others, fools learn at their own expense. How sad for us that our leaders are fools. At least I am hoping that’s all they are.
All that being said, I sincerely hope that the good people of Nevada will be wise enough to achieve 100% participation in the ESA program. Imagine… a State with a $5B education budget and NO public schools… NO children being brainwashed into good little America-hating socialists by means of Common Core complaint courses such as the new Advanced Placement US History from David Coleman’s College Board company. Yea, this time I am the fool.